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Trees of Caring tradition continues at Cambridge Memorial Hospital

Funds raised through this year's Tree of Light campaign will go toward the purchase of a new $5 million MRI
Staff at Cambridge Memorial Hospital: Ryan Jansen-Yannuzzi (tor left), Ines Sousa-Batista (bottom left), and Taylor Patterson (top right), with Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation’s executive director, Lisa Short. (bottom right)

Every year during the holiday season, lights shine in memory or in honour of loved ones at Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH).

For 34 years, community donors have supported CMH Foundation with donations, raising over $6 million towards lifesaving equipment.

This holiday season, funds raised will support the purchase of a new Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine at CMH.

Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation’s executive director, Lisa Short, says access to innovative equipment and timely care, helps meet the growing needs for local families.

“This year, we are focused on raising funds for a new MRI for Cambridge Memorial Hospital. This is a major priority need right now,” Short said.

“Over the next two years we will be dedicated to this, because the MRI is a $5 million project.”

Diagnostic imaging at CMH is expanding and Short says a new MRI is necessary to better serve patients and the community.

In 2012, community donations led to the purchase of the very first MRI at CMH. This much celebrated milestone has allowed CMH’s diagnostic imaging program to grow and mature.

CMH’s diagnostic imaging team produces about 100,000 images per year, averaging about 274 images each day.

CMH recently launched MRI Spotlight to reach its goal to purchase the new MRI within the next two years.

According to CMH Foundation, the new technology will improve imaging clarity for accurate diagnosis. Patients can begin the right treatments sooner, resulting in faster recoveries. A new MRI will also help to reduce wait times and improve local access to imaging.  

Short says along with raising funds for much-needed equipment, Trees of Caring offers an opportunity to light up the hospital, remember loved ones, and celebrate the season.

“This is a 34-year-old tradition where we have encouraged folks to buy a string of lights or a light in memory or in honour of a loved one. In making that donation, they are helping us each and every year to purchase priority equipment for the hospital,” Short said.  

This year, however, due to construction, Trees of Caring looks a little different.

“Before the new renovation, we used to have a big tree out at the front of the hospital. But due to construction, we decided this year, to do more of a virtual tree as we transition," Short said.

“What we have done is put up signage throughout the hospital. What happens is that people can write on light bulb stickers, or you can send an e-card and honour someone when you make a donation. So, there is a very virtual feel this year."

Donors can purchase light bulb stickers which are then posted at CMH. To send a virtual e-card, visit here.

Short says the community can also support the fundraising initiatives of CMH Ambassadors to reach their combined $35,000 goal. For more information, visit here.

“Trees of Caring was around when I was a little girl. I was a part of that, and it was always well known in my family,” Short said.

“This is a very a long-lived tradition.”

Cambridge Memorial Hospital Foundation is a registered charitable organization and the fundraising partner of Cambridge Memorial Hospital. Community dollars fund all of the equipment at CMH.

For more information, about the Cambridge Hospital Foundation, visit here.

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Barbara Latkowski

About the Author: Barbara Latkowski

Barbara graduated with a Masters degree in Journalism from Western University and has covered politics, arts and entertainment, health, education, sports, courts, social justice, and issues that matter to the community. She joined CambridgeToday in 2021
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